tv PBS News Hour PBS February 16, 2015 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> ifill: egypt strikes back launching airstrikes at islamic state positions in libya after militants behead coptic christians. good evening, i'm gwen ifill. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. also ahead this presidents' day: getting smart on crime and punishment, a new study finds jails and prisons have become overcrowded warehouses for the poor. >> ifill: plus... >> jehovah witnesses abhor child abuse in any form. >> ifill: ...breaking the silence-- can freedom of religion trump protections against child abuse? the legal battles with jehovah's witness leaders who refuse to shed light on members' dark pasts.
>> my parents didn't have the power to know that kendrick was a child abuser. let's give the parents the power to be able to protect their children, and that's what these organizations are heading. >> woodruff: and, "politics monday" with amy walter and nia- malika henderson. those are some of the stories we're covering on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪ ♪ moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us.
i.b.e.w. the power professionals in your neighborhood. >> lincoln financial-- committed to helping you take charge of your life and become you're own chief life officer. >> the william and flora hewlett foundation, helping people build immeasurably better lives. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and... >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> ifill: egypt entered the chaos of an ongoing civil war in libya today, to avenge the deaths of 21 egyptian christians beheaded by islamic state militants. across egypt, there was overwhelming sadness and anger
as a seven day mourning period began. wails and sobs filled the air for the coptic christian men beheaded in libya by the islamic state. the terror group released a video of their murders on sunday. the men had been abducted in two groups in december and january. 13 of the 21 victims came from the small egyptian town of el- oar, where along with the sorrow there was rage. >> ( translated ): we are in darkness today. the whole of egypt is in darkness. ask them, "what have those killed done? what have they done, you dogs." they can only be called dogs. >> ( translated ): i demand the international community and president el-sissi to bring back the bodies of the victims even if they were thrown in the sea. if they had burnt them, then they should bring us their ashes. >> ifill: egyptian president abdel-fattah el-sissi wasted
little time taking action-- sending warplanes to eastern libya overnight to hit islamic state targets. an ongoing civil war in libya has created a power vacuum there, creating opportunity for the islamic state to create its largest branch outside of syria and iraq. the vice president of the libyan general national congress expressed condolences for the deaths, but criticized egypt's retaliation. >> ( translated ): we strongly condemn the egyptian assault this morning on the city of darna, and we consider it a violation of libyan sovereignty. >> ifill: at the vatican, pope francis denounced the slayings saying, "they were killed simply for the fact that they were christians." and in a statement released last night, the white house condemned the killings and said the islamic state group "is unconstrained by faith, sect or
ethnicity." president el-sisi met with the head of egypt's coptic church to convey his sympathies. his administration later called for international intervention in libya. we'll have more on the spread of the islamic state group right after the news summary. >> woodruff: authorities in denmark moved quickly to arrest two men they believed helped the gunman in this weekend's attacks in copenhagen. the gunman died in a shootout with police, and was known to have gang connections. duncan golestani of independent television news has this report from copenhagen. >> reporter: at an internet cafe, two men are arrested on suspicion of helping the man who carried out denmark's worst terrorist attack in a generation. the police believe they helped hide the gunman between his two shootings and provided the weapon. this is the man they're accused of helping-- omar el hussein. a violent criminal only released from prison two weeks ago. it's thought the 22-year-old may have become radicalized while
inside. the head of the danish intelligence services admitted el hussein had been "on their radar." but the country's prime minister said there was no indication he was part of a wider terrorist cell and called for unity. el hussein attacks were spread over 14 hours. the attacks were spread over 14 hours, first bullets killing a film director later trying to find his way into this synagogue, then shot and killed a guard earlier his family left flowers. then denmark's chief told the news, europe should not be scared.
>> woodruff: israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu is again calling for a mass migration of european jews to israel. this in the wake of the deadly shooting in copenhagen and after jewish graves in france were desecrated. but both denmark's chief rabbi and french president francois hollande rejected the call as ill-timed and insensitive. hollande was scheduled to visit the vandalized jewish cemetery tomorrow. >> ifill: new fighting broke out in eastern ukraine today, one day after a cease-fire went into effect between ukrainian troops and russian-backed separatists. the clashes centered around the strategic town of debaltseve-- a government-held railway hub. the ukrainian military reported five of its soldiers died, and another 25 were wounded within the last 24 hours. both sides now have until early tuesday to begin withdrawing their heavy weaponry from the front line. >> woodruff: the southern u.s. is no longer being spared the wintry weather. heavy snow, ice and freezing rain fell from missouri to georgia. parts of kentucky could see up to 15 inches of snow by day's end.
meanwhile, new england struggled to recover from its fourth snowstorm in a month. wind chills dipped as low as 40 degrees below zero in some areas. residents in boston dug out from yet another foot of snow overnight as mayor marty walsh appealed for patience. >> it's important that we stay focused and not let the frustration get the best of us as we move forward. and i know that a lot of people are just tired and don't know what to do with this amount of snow. and we're in very unusual circumstances. >> woodruff: forecasters expect the boston area could get another eight inches of snow by thursday morning. a train carrying more than a hundred tankers of crude oil derailed near charleston west virginia today. one of the tankers fell in a nearby river and 14 others went up in flames along with a nearby home. snow had fallen in the area but it was unclear whether that played a role in the detailment.
local residents were told to evacuate. no injuries were reported. >> ifill: new debt talks for greece got underway in brussels today and immediately fell apart. the new greek government rejected proposals from e.u. finance ministers on how to deal with their existing bailout deal-- worth $273 billion. it expires at the end of the month. after the meeting came to its abrupt end, the head of the eurogroup negotiations said time is running out for greece to accept its terms. >> given the timelines that we have and parliamentary deadlines, i think we can use this week, but that is about it. if the request for an extension were to come in we would of course look at it, ask the institutions to look at it and advise us, and then we could have, if a positive outcome can be envisaged, we could have an extra eurogroup on friday. >> ifill: thousands of greeks gathered in front of the parliament in athens tonight to protest austerity measures. the greek economy has shrunk by
a quarter, and greek unemployment is above 25%. >> woodruff: hackers have stolen up to a billion dollars from banks around the world in a series of electronic attacks since 2013. the russian firm "kaspersky lab" presented that finding at a security conference in cancun mexico, today. it found the hacking ring has infiltrated more than 100 banks in 30 countries. they use different methods to break in, and cap their stealing to $10 million before moving on to another bank. >> ifill: american teenagers are getting less and less sleep. a new study published today in the journal pediatrics found that of the 300,000 teens they surveyed, over half didn't even get seven hours of sleep. that was attributed to early school start times increased use of social media and electronics, and obesity. researchers warned sleep deprivation could lead to poor health and academic performance. >> woodruff: singer-songwriter
lesley gore died of lung cancer today in new york. gore's meteoric rise to fame began back in 1963 with her first single, "it's my party," an epic song of teenage longing. she remained at the top of the charts with her follow up hits "judy's turn to cry" and "you don't own me". lesley gore was 68-years-old. >> woodruff: still to come on the newshour. striking back at the islamic state. the role of poverty and mental illness in overcrowding prisons. an investigation into sex abuse by jehovah's witness. politics monday with amy walter and nia malik henderson. a new book on robert e. lee's connections to george washington. and remembering former poet laureate philip levine. >> ifill: the islamic state's gruesome attacks in libya over the weekend raises the specter that the militant group is expanding beyond syria and iraq.
we take a look at that now with frederic wehrey of the carnegie endowment for international peace, he's recently returned from a trip to libya. and, michael leiter, he was the director of the national counter-terrorism center from 2007-2011. he is now the executive vice president at leidos, a science and technology company specializing in national security issues. michael leiter, what are we to take from this particular move into libya? this seems like an expansion of the footprint we've become familiar with i.i.l. >> that's right, gwen. we've really seen this expansion beyond just libya. i.s.i.s. has over the past several months gained some foot holds in egypt to the east in the sinai peninsula as well as smaller elements in algeria afghanistan and south asia and i think what this fundamentally shows is we have a message which is resonating extremely effectively with its adherence
and also it's highlighting the real security vacuum that we have in many of these places and, in libya that is really most obvious. the breakdown of civil society and government authority in libya since the fall of gadhafi in 2011 has allowed, with a lack of security services, elements of i.s.i.s. associates, now three different groups in libya, to really take charge and perpetrate these incredibly gruesome and horrific events. >> reporter: frederic wehrey, you're back not too long ago from libya. are they take advantage of this va yiewm as michael leiter was discussing just now that exists because of the internal civil inrest and governance problems that are going on in libya? >> absolutely. i mean, this is a country that's tearing itself apart. there are essentially two different governments. the country's ruled by a patchwork of militias. you have entire areas of the
country that are varietiable no-go zones. some areas in the east are long-time hot beds for extremism. many had al quaida affiliates. what we're seeing now is the islamic state is really moving in and siphoning away at a lot of these al quaida folks and moving them over to the is larveg state. it's a very appealing brand right now in libya. >> ifill: michael leiter, why continue --why coptic christians? were they targeted in a particular way? >> coptic christians have regettably been targeted in egypt after the fall of mohamed morsi. many believe the christians were behind that. as well they have been targeted in libya before so they have been under real threat. in my view, coptic christians are an even more attractive target to i.s.i.s. than other groups, but in truth i.s.i.s. targets go well i don't coptic
christians as we've obviously seen in iraq and syria with the burning of the jordanian pilot. in their view, if you are not strictly aligned with their ideology b it muslim, christian or someone else you really are one who will be targeted. >> ifill: frederic, let's go to egypt's role how significant they will be drawn into the conflict with i.s.i.l? >> it's a bold intervention, air strikes on the camps in eastern libya. it's not the first time they were involved with libya. last year there were reports of them sending special ops team across the bored. they're with the dignity faction against the islamists, they have been providing it with intelligence and logistical support. so news a visible expression they have been doing for quite some time. we know from history air power alone is not decisive in rooting
out these sorts of groups. >> ifill: let me go back to michael later on too, because i wonder if the degree of response will create after greater response? are we now seeing the islamic state being a hydra headhead organization that can spray terror wherever it wants or is there some sort of goal? >> i think unfortunately, it really has gwen. what we were so fearful about only two or three years ago as we saw the conflict in iraq and syria grow was regional instability, and we are seeing that. we are seeing that with more vee vie vehemece and fight on the jordanian side but also into syria in a more problematic way and it will be difficult for the syrians not to get involved. they have the problem east of the sinai and now to the west.
i think general sisi views this as a fight he cannot avoid and i expect to see continued air strikes and i don't think it's impossible we might see some egyptian troops proving into eastern libya to try to provide some sort of security space for the region. >> ifill: frederic wehrey was this complicate the u.s. plan to degrade the ikdz now that egypt is involved, or does it give us a little bit more support for that? >> well, it's really conflicted. i mean, on the the one hand they are attacking attacking the camps, but the u.s. position all along is that this has been a civil war and that any outside interference, outside supporto the warring factions is unhelpful. the u.s. is supporting a u.n.-sponsored peace initiative to try to bring the warring factions to the table and so, outside interference, i think, really harms that. so in the long run, i think defeating the i.s.i.s. threat in libya is best served by a
comprehensive peace agreement between the warring factions, coming up with a unity government, unifying the security forces and assisting the forces to go after the terrorist thread. >> ifill: michael leiter, what is the islamic state i.s.i.s. however we're referring to it today, what do they aspire to in these shocking and riveting actions especially when they pop up in another country? >> they have tactical and strategicals. tactically, they simply believe it is their duty to kill these individuals. they are so abhorrent to their vision that they deserve to die and they believe that they are defending their vision of the muslim people throughout north africa and the middle east and this is their fight in the same way syria -- i.s.i.l and syria is believing they should also kill people like the jordanians who are bombing them.
that's the tactical. but the strategic is a vision for a broader caliphate which will be ruled under i.s.i.l's banner. i think what we see from libya across to syria and into iraq is this does have some resonance and is causing real regional instability, not to mention the threat of individuals who are either inspired by or direct bid i.s.i.l who were traveling back to the west whether we've seen it in france potentially seen it in copenhagen this is the hydra and is going to take some time in the region and globably to counter. >> thank you both very much. . >> woodruff: a new report finds that more americans than ever are spending time in jail. the vera institute of justice showed that in the past two decades, the number of people going to jail has increased dramatically. in addition, those behind bars are staying longer, some 62% of them have not yet been convicted
of a crime, and three-quarters of those jailed now are brought in for non-violent offenses. the report also finds that a disproportionate number of those in jail suffer from mental illness. joining us are nicholas turner president and director of the vera institute. and margo schlanger of the university of michigan. nick turner to you first, why are the jails and prisons of the united states so full today? >> well, you have to go back, really, almost four decades. we have since the early 1970s within on what some people describe as a binge in this country, reliance on incarceration and on confinement as the primary strategy to keep people safe, that's been the argument. so, for the past 40 years, the
number of people in jail and in prison in this country has gone up almost 400%. when you look at jails now there are additional other reasons as to why we have so many people in jail. in the past few decades we have increasingly arrested more and more people, not only for felonies and serious charges but misdemeanors, and we are seeing more people who are being arrested being put in jail so there is a general reflex within the criminal justice system still to rely on confinement. >> woodruff: well, margo schlanger, but overall, as we understand it, the number of arrests is down so i think it's hard to understand why the prison population has risen so much. >> well, it's always a function of two things. one is who goes to prison, and the answer is a much higher proportion of the people who are getting arrested are going to prison, and then how long they stay there, and they're stay ago longer period of time.
so prosecutors who used to forgo using prison a fair amount are foregoing prison much much less. so we have a massive increase in the proportion of people arrested for crimes who go to prison, and that's before you even get to jail, where people are going before they're convicted often and much more and for much longer periods of time. >> woodruff: and nick turner, this report suggests you have a much higher percentage of people who are poor and mentally ill. i think some of us would say, well, hasn't it always been that way? >> well, i think the thing that is remarkable now is that the scale of it. back in the early '60s the vera institute of justice, the organization i ran, that i now run, got its start actually looking to solve the problem of
people who were locked up in jail simply because they hadn't been able to post bail. we did that and the lesson spread across the country. one of the things that's sort of bittersweet about the report we've written now is this problem very much remains and, actually, in the past two decades it's gotten a bit worse so when you look alt people who are in jail now in this country and as you stated at the outset of this, about 60% of them are still locked up without having been convicted yet, so they're presumed innocent. a large percent of them are locked up or unable to get released pause they can't post bail. so take new york city, for example, where in 2013 half of everyone who was at rikers or some of the other detention facilities were there because they couldn't post low rates of bail, $2,500 or less. >> woodruff: well, margo
schlanger, this raise as whole set of questions, number one the harm done to society by this but, number tborks i think what many people are asking is what can be done about it, then in. >> yeah, i think that the jail problem, bail reform is the easiest thing not that it's easy but it's the thing we really clearly need. if we could solve the bail problem, if we could get people out of jail who haven't been convicted anything and are not there because they're a danger but because they don't have $2000 to post, we could really make a dent. solving the prison problem the problem for people who have been convicted of felonies, that will take a more varied set overinterventions, but i think it's really right how is a great moment for us to try to make those interventions, and, i mean, there are a bunch of people. we need to do parole and probation reform, we need to do the reform of the system that allows prisoners good time credit off their sentences if
they are behaving themselves in prison, we need to do community corrections kinds of reform so the prosecutors have some place to send people so that they don't just send them to prison because it's the only option, if we could do all those things, we could really maybe make a dent and get down from 2. 3 million people in jail and prison and get down to something more typical. >> woodruff: mr. turner used the term "plex set of solutions." it does sound complex to accomplish all. this is this something that realistically can be done? >> i think so absolutely. the report that we wrote came about as part of safety and justice challenge which is an initiative undertaken by the mcarthur fanged which is
encouraging localities around the country who run jail systems and that also have the opportunity to figure out how to recuse overincarceration. one of the primary reasons why this challenge has been undertaken is because there is a sense of the potential for solution. so make two very quick points about that. one is that there's an absolute necessity. as margo pointed out when people are locked up prior to conviction, one of the things that we know is that detention has very negative consequences for people. there's a higher rate of rearrest post being locked up a higher rate of returning to prison, and for people who have been locked up for even two days or so, they're more likely to get eventually sentenced to prison and for a longer period of time. so what's really essential is we figure out how to help people avoid those few days of being locked up, and there are lots of solutions. you can look at options for the
police rather than arrests. they can divert people who have a mental health or substance abuse problem, you can look at mental health courts or drug courts where treatment is possible. as margo said, you can rely less on bail as sort of the ticket out of detention and release people on recognizance, which we have known has been proven to be effective. >> woodruff: i hope this is something we can come back to. it's clearly a big subject and one both of you suggest will take time but sounds as if the work is beginning. nick turner and professor margo schlanger, we thank you both. >> thank you so much for having us. >> ifill: next, an investigation into child sexual abuse in the jehovah's witness organization and accusations of a cover-up
from inside some of the religion's 14,000 u.s. congregations. our colleagues from the center for investigative reporting have obtained confidential memos that shed new light on these accusations. special correspondent trey bundy has the story from reveal, which is a new website, radio show, and podcast run by the center. >> reporter: at a convention of jehovah's witnesses in california, new members are taking the plunge. >> at your baptism you said yes. >> reporter: they're joining more than eight million members worldwide. believers are taught to renounce secular society because it's controlled by satan and not to socialize too much with outsiders. but charges of sexual abuse have brought this insular community under greater scrutiny. and now, in this san francisco courtroom, the first child abuse case against the jehovah's witnesses to go to trial is underway. candace conti is suing the organization for failing to protect her from a known child abuser, when she was nine years
old. >> if i were to sum up our goals of this case, it was to attack the policies and procedures that where in place to let a serial molester continue to molest children. >> reporter: conti's lawyer says instructions from jehovah's witness leaders have enabled child molesters. >> the instructions were, you keep these pedophiles secret. >> reporter: the case hinges on letters from jehovah's witness leaders to the heads of local congregations. for almost 20 years they have ordered them to send reports like this one for every known child abuser to hide these cases from their congregations. and not to cooperate with law enforcement or the courts, unless instructed to. they've refused judges' orders to turn over these abuse reports, so no one knows how many cases like conti's are out there. jehovah's witnesses abhor child abuse of any form. >> reporter: the jehovah's witnesses insist that they comply with the law. and their lawyers argue that the first amendment gives them the
right to set child abuse policies as they see fit. >> the religious beliefs of jehovah's witnesses were at play in this case from start to finish. >> reporter: the religious beliefs come from the watchtower bible and tract society in brooklyn. which has often used the first amendment to defend its policies of separation. in 1943 it even won a supreme court case arguing that schoolchildren should not be forced to pledge allegiance to the flag. >> reporter: watchtower lawyers who refused to speak with us, are again claiming a first amendment defense to keep child abuse in its congregations secret. >> the elders are counseled in that letter to heed the counsel, do not reveal the confidential talk of another, quoting from the bible, book of proverbs chapter 25, verse nine. >> reporter: candace conti was part of a jehovah's witness congregation in fremont california. she was often grouped with adults, to go knocking on doors including this man jonathan kendrick. he was very dominating, very domineering, very...he commanded a presence.
>> reporter: she says kendrick would take advantage of their time door knocking to find ways to be alone with her. >> jonathan kendrick molested me as a child. i really kind of pushed everything down and tried not to think about it. >> reporter: what no one in conti's family knew, was that jonathan kendrick, had admitted to molesting another child a year earlier. michael clarke, an elder in the congregation, was asked about it in this deposition. do you recall becoming aware of a report of sexual abuse of a child by jonathan kendrick? >> yes >> reporter: when did you become aware of such a report? >> he had called us to his home to discuss a-- to confess to an incident with his step-daughter. >> reporter: clarke never called the police. he followed watchtower protocol. he wrote to new york headquarters asking how to deal
with kendrick's confession. they told him not to investigate the matter further instead they said, "provide him with strong scriptural counsel to avoid a repetition of such a serious offense." >> we don't make that public to the congregation. it's confidential. the elders didn't warn other members that one of their own was a child abuser. >> reporter: clarke says the elders told kendrick not to be alone with children. but he was still allowed to join in congregation activities that included minors. a year later, one of those minors was candace conti. >> and i don't think it ever left, i know it never left, me, you know, it's always there. and it was just probably one of those days that i just felt it.
>> reporter: conti kept quiet about the abuse until years later when she discovered on a sex-offender registry that he had gone on to molest another young girl. she decided to sue the watchtower. >> after i found that out i had this sense of guilt; what if i did something? what if i hadn't been such a coward? what if i had done something to maybe protect this other child? i knew what he was capable of, but i didn't do anything. now, look what happened. >> reporter: i drove to oakley california, where kendrick had moved when he left conti's congregation. i met the girl conti had found. she agreed to talk to us if we didn't show her face. >> when i was a little girl probably about six or seven jonathan kendrick abused me. >> reporter: she blames the watchtower's secrecy for enabling kendrick to marry into her family and target her. the family sued the jehovah's witnesses. >> they knew he had a past and that they kept it from us.
>> reporter: when kendrick moved to the oakley congregation, no one was told he was a child molester. not even roger bentley, who served as an elder there for 30 years. he reviewed this letter of introduction from kendrick's old congregation. >> there's no indication at all that he is guilty of child abuse. >> so no mention of child abuse, but any mention of children? >> well if you read it, it very specifically says "he's a very interesting individual who has taken the lead with some young ones in the congregation and helped them from veering off course." that's not a child abuser. that's a recommendation. that's a very specific recommendation, oh relax, he's good with kids. >> reporter: i've spent months trying to interview watchtower leaders, but they wouldn't talk to me. instead, they sent a statement, saying they comply with reporting laws, they do not shield abusers from law enforcement, and are committed to preventing child abuse.
and in one of the dozen lawsuits i've been following, watchtower supervisor richard ashe was asked if the organization has a responsibility to protect children from abuse. >> well, within the congregation, ours is a spiritual protection when we're talking about physical protection, that's up to the secular authorities to provide. >> reporter: he was asked about the watchtower's bible-based directives to keep child abuse cases confidential. >> it states in paragraph three, "there is a time to keep quiet when your word should prove to be few." do you see that? >> yes. >> i'm going to object to that. it's a violation of the first amendment, freedom of religion freedom of association. >> reporter: the courts continue to grapple with the question: should freedom of religion outweigh the responsibility to protect children? >> reporter: in candace conti's case, the jury overrode the first amendment claims and decided the watchtower and the north fremont congregation were negligent and did not adequately protect her from abuse. kendrick maintains he never molested her. pending appeal, she was awarded more than fifteen million
dollars in compensation and damages. it's the first time a jury has ordered the watchtower to pay for its child abuse policies. >> reporter: but for kendrick's other victim, her case against the watchtower was thrown out. even though kendrick confessed to the abuse in this deposition and served about eight months in jail. the judge affirmed that the watchtower's policies were protected by the first amendment. it was not liable, because the abuse occurred at home and not in the course of religious activity. the watchtower had no obligation to warn the family about kendrick's past. kendrick is now free and still an active member of the oakley congregation. >> the fact that jonathan kendrick is still a member in a good standing is absolutely ridiculous. it's scary. the fact that he still has access to children, my parents didn't have the power to know that jonathan kendrick was a child abuser. let's give the parents the power, to be able to protect their children. that's what these organizations are hiding.
>> reporter: despite the huge verdict against the watchtower, the organization is sticking to its policies. in fact, it just released another confidential memo reminding elders to keep quiet about child abuse. i'm trey bundy from reveal for the newshour. >> ifill: the economy, education, foreign policy-- issues already shaping the conversation about who should be our next president. but what else is driving the conversation? for that, we turn to politics monday, our weekly check-in with nia-malika henderson of "the washington post." and, amy walter of the cook political report. welcome back again. >> great to be here. >> ifill: i want to kind of go back to those three issues but also talk about in general, whatnot on the ballot? we have been spending a lot of time at this table talking about candidates and people who are and are not thinking about running but not about what else
is shaping this race right now. >> i think there is this overarching theme now, whether domestic or foreign policy, this idea of nestic instability, which we're really lacking, and you can hear it in the 2014 campaign. we've heard it from voters and i'm sure you did too when we were talking to them, the sense that nothing seems to be making sense, whether beheading whether ebola, ferguson nothing seems to be going right. domestically, there is something, but the economy, jobs doing well but not for everybody. somebody can come in and say let me tell you how i will tablize it and make you feel more secure internationally and at home. >> ifill: part of the response to the unanswerable questions if you're jeb bush, is to stay
i'm going to be completely transparent and who i am so we'vein'sine that from him. >> we have with. he release ttd e-mails last week in the farm of an ebook. we'll see him give a speech on foreign policy wednesday in chicago. he's been asked questions about how he differs from his brother. he says he doesn't want to relate gat the past in terms of afghanistan and iraq, so we'll see him doing that going forward. both he and clinton have to figure out their identity vis-a-vis the status quo clinton and obama being the status quo and for bush big his brother. >> ifill: and the pressure from her own party and elizabeth warn, once again, not a candidate. >> that's right. you see a poll out of iowa warren wasn't in the poll but if you talk to folks on the ground and in iowa they were dissatisfied with the choices
they have. they want to see someone else run. doesn't look like they will. looks like hillary clinton will have to deal with progressives in whichever way she can and they will have at least elizabeth warren to channel that dissatisfaction. >> anytime i see polling, and the there's more out today, i stay away from the top number and look at the bigger picture and see are people dissatisfied with their choices, and if you look at the polls, even among very liberal voters, they say, yeah, we like hillary, we're not dissatisfied. iowa was the least satisfied liberals. but there wasn't this pining from the liberal base to bring somebody different in who wasn't named hillary. >> ifill: we see them fighting on education, common core, foreign policy and here's another place to see them fight it out and that is we saw the f.b.i. director give a speech last week in which he talked
about race, something i would have been surprised if ihead seen this president or attorney general speak about instead the big irishman got up and spoke. >> the irish had some tough times but >> the irish had some tough times, but little compares to the experience of black americans. that experience should be part of every american's consciousness. and law enforcement's role in that experience including in recent times must be remembered. it is our cultural inheritance. >> cultural inheritance. now, that i can imagine what would have happened on social media if those words were to have come out of the president's mouth and i wonder if that's part of this as well, the political environment, or if that was just a one off? >> we'll have to see. this has been part of the the debate we saw in the wake of ferguson. you saw the black lives matter campaign on social media. this is surprising, this is a republic, head of the f.b.i. to talk in such a frank way about
race. reminded some of eric holder's cowered speech, notable it was in february and we'll see more conversations about race given, be it black history month. but where do you go from here is the question. speech is one thing, polls yand legislation is something else. >> ifill: i'm trying to figure out who we are watching in this 2016 lineup would pick this up. >> well, we've already seen somebody like rand paul pick it up. again, you have a white libertarian from -- is a very conservative who is aligning himself and has been doing this for quite some time with african-americans and other democrats to say we need to do some work on justice reform, on criminal sentencing and, in fact, he talks very much about the fact actually in the wake of ferguson, he was one of the few politicians who came out, soared of sounded like comby when he
said let's be clear, there is a difference the way whites and blacks are treated in the susties gym. >> ifill: we talked before about people rushing to london coming back. all the issues we talked about for the first part of this program whether about libya or the islamic state or ukraine does that seep into this campaign yet? >> absolutely. yes. we've seen that already with these foreign policy troops that are really foreign policy troops. we'll see it with the authorizing of the use of force, we'll see lindsey graham on one end, rand paul on the other, so very much informed. >> and voters too. it's starting to pop up in polls in terms of their concern with it. for jeb bush, his issue is not so much will he make statements about i.s.i.s. but will he be different. >> ifill: amy walter nia-malika henderson, thank you both.
>> thank you. >> woodruff: now, a new take on robert e. lee, the famous confederate general with president george washington as the touchstone. i recently talked with the author of this look at two men who helped shape american history. the civil war split families, states and the nation. 74 years after the signing of the constitution, the united states was torn in two. one of the more conflicted participants in the war was none other than robert e. lee, a son of a revolutionary war hero who was a trusted aide to general george washington. he married the daughter of washington's adopted son. at the outbreak of the civil war, lee had served 25 years with the us army, but in april 1861, he turned down an offer to command the union army, resigned his commission, and accepted the command of the military and naval forces of virginia. all this and more can be found in the new book, "the man who
would not be washington: robert e. lee's civil war and his decision that changed american history" by jonathan horn, who served as speechwriter and special assistant to former president george w. bush. jonathan horn, welcome to the newshour. welcome to the "newshour". >> thanks for having me. >> woodruff: you grew up in the area around washington. is that where this interest in robert e. lee came from? >> exactly. if you blow up on the potomac river, you have so much of robert e. lee and george washington's history around you. robert e. lee was born in westmoreland county down river from washington and so was washington, robert e. lee grew up in alexandria, virginia, near george washington's mount vernon plantation, and robert e. lee married his wife at arlington house, the great pillared mansion, now a similar tear, but back then a memorial of george washington, filled with relics
of george washington because he married the daughter of george washington's adopted son. >> woodruff: describe the argument he made that he changed american history. >> he was reading a biography of george washington as the union comes apart and as he's reading this biography he concludes that the founding fathers themselves would have opposed secession but then he gets this offer he gets called to washington by abemissary for abraham lincoln who says the country looks to you to save the family for the union. he can't imagine going to war against virginia. >> woodruff: the premise is here's this great man considered a great hero for the confederacy in the civil war. when the moment came for a decision that would matter, he made the wrong one. >> that's very much what happened. he forever cast his fate against
george washington's greatest legacy, the union ultimately what made me want to write the story, the tragic tension, how a soldier so associated with george warrant goes to war against george washington's greatest legacy the union. >> woodruff: he continued to be conflicted about it. you write about what he went through in the period after that. >> right, and what's amazing is after the war he actually revises his views and started saying maybe the founding fathers hadn't been opposed to secession and he does try revisit what happened. he really is tortured. there are lots of descriptions of him with very sad looks on his face riding his horse after the warned people wondering what is he thinking. >> woodruff: you also write what he taut about slavery. he wasn't comfortable with it but he did in the end defend it and kept slaves. you tell a remarkable story you quote someone as describing a scene where he himself whipped a female slave who had tried to
escape when one of his employees said he couldn't do it. >> right that's one of the most controversial moments in robert e. lee's life. we don't know exactly what happened there. he denied that story. what most entangled robert e. lee in the institution of slavely, because he wanted to stay away from it, we shouldn't make the mistake of thinking she was an abolitionist he certainly was not, by his father-in-law, george washington's adopted son, dies and leaves robert e. lee expecter of those estates which actually included slaves who desedgedded from mount vernon, george washington's home. so on the eve of the civil war, robert e. lee is managing slaves who had direct connections to the father of our country. >> woodruff: you write not only about the decision that he made to join the confederacy, but about decisions he made as a general. he has a reputation as a brilliant general. it's the reason both the north and the south went after him.
but in the end when you look alt the decisions he made as a general, was he a great general? >> he was a brilliant military mind. what's so interesting about lee is we have this impression can of him always taking the initiative in battle, even though his forces were ottomanned and outgunned, but he never saw it that way he always thought he had no choice. he had to take a incredible risks because the odds against him are so stacked. so the way we view him today isn't necessarily the way he viewed himself. >> woodruff: was there a chance with lee in h charge of the south the south could have prevailed. >> absolutely. i don't think we could say anything is inevitable. if those union soldiers hadn't held cemetery ridge at gettysburg who knows what would have happened. one of the lessons i took away from this book is nothing was inevitable in history. history turns on the decisions of single individuals all the time and we shouldn't ever make the mistake of thinking history is inevitable. >> it is a fascinating book whether you are into civil war history or not.
it's the man who would not beat history, robert e. lee civil war and his decision that changed american history. by jonathan horn. thanks so much. >> thank you so much. >> ifill: finally tonight remembering the pulitzer prize winning poet, and former poet laureate, philip levine. he died this weekend from pancreatic cancer at the age of 87. levine, who worked as an auto worker in detroit, wrote with distinction about working-class life in the industrial heartland. he eventually published more than 20 volumes of verse and earned a place as one of the country's honored poets. jeffrey brown profiled him in 2010-- here's a look. it starts with levine reading one of his poems about waiting in line for factory work. >> we stand in the rain and a long line waiting at ford highland park for work. you know what work is. if you're old enough to read
this, you know what work is, although you may not do it. this is about waiting. shifting from one foot to another. feeling the light rain falling like mist into your hair, blurring your vision, until you think you see your own brother ahead of you, maybe ten places. when i was a young guy, working in these places and didn't see a way out as yet, and i certainly didn't think the way out would be poetry. >> brown: what were you doing? >> usually, five people would take an enormous piece of hot steel, which four of us would hold with tongs, and put it into a huge press. >> brown: so, what was poetry, then? i mean, where did the poetry come from? >> no one knows where poetry comes from. i had been writing poetry from the age of 14.
it was just something i loved doing. i loved language. i recognized that i had a facility for it. my teachers praised me to the skies, which was wonderful. one thing i was struck by very young, in my middle 20s, very young, was that i didn't see any work, written work, about this experience, as far as poetry zero. so, i actually did at one time say to myself, hey, there's a whole world here no one has touched. >> brown: and this should be a subject for poetry? >> it should be there. yes, it should be there. many years later, you have made a life as a poet. does that surprise you? >> oh, god, yes. oh, i mean, i'm stunned. one of the things that made it happen was pure luck.
and i think that is the most crucial thing, to be honored, as a poet, even if it-- not by a nation, because a nation is an abstraction, but just to be honored by this person, or that person, or especially by your wife, or your brothers, or your mother, father, i mean, it's just fantastic. it keeps you going in a way that nothing else could keep you going. >> woodruff: you can watch the full profile online, plus find more videos of levine discussing and reading his work. that's at pbs.org/newshour. >> ifill: again, the major developments of the day. egypt launched airstrikes on islamic state targets in libya after the militant beheaded 21 coptic christian hostages. authorities in denmark arrested two men they believed helped the lone gunman who killed two people in this weekend's attacks in copenhagen. lance armstrong to pay 10 million dolloars in a fraud suit. >> woodruff: on the newshour online right now, what would you give up to be a part of the
first mission to mars? 100 candidates will compete for a chance to help establish humankind's first foothold on the red planet. read about the privately-funded "mars one" mission and the potential explorers who would go, knowing they could never return to earth. also on this president's day take our commander-in-chief beard quiz. we ask you to match the man to the mutton chops. all that and more is on our web site, pbs.org/newshour. did you take the quiz? >> not me. >> ifill: and that's the newshour for tonight. on tuesday, the price of gold from child labor to toxic chemicals. we dig into to the hazardous conditions in the mines for the precious metal. i'm gwen ifill. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. we'll see you on-line, and again here tomorrow evening, for all of us here at the pbs newshour thank you and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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